ATP Estoril: Richard Gasquet wins first match since February with straight sets win

Richard Gasquet defeated Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 6-4 at the Estoril Open to book a spot in the quarterfinals. He will play Kevin Anderson, who needed three sets to get past local Portuguese man and qualifier Joao Domingues

Superb Gasquet

It would be the Argentine Berlocq who would get off to the quicker start. On the Gasquet serve, he brought up triple break point opportunities. The Frenchman saved two break points but on the third, he sent a forehand straight into the net as his opponent broke. However, Berlocq failed to consolidate as his opponent earned a break back point almost immediately after three deuces.

An unforced error from the 34-year-old allowed Gasquet to break back before going on to hold serve and consolidate to go infront at 2-1. From then on in, the Frenchman turned his style on and looked at ease. The fourth game saw the world number 23 earn another break point at advantage.

Richard Gasquet strikes a backhand shot (Photo: Carlos Palma/Getty Images)
Richard Gasquet strikes a backhand shot (Photo: Carlos Palma/Getty Images)

Following a mini rally, Berlocq sent a forehand into the net with the Frenchman then holding for 4-1 and taking full control of the set. From love-30 ahead in the sixth game, Berlocq blew a lead and allowed Gasquet back in, who took the game to deuce before grabbing what would be a third break point chance of the set at advantage.

Both players were then locked in a rally until the Argentine sent a return long to gift the third break of the match to his opponent, who now led 5-1. Serving for the match, Gasquet was to have both his set points he gained saved before Berlocq would have both break back points denied. At the third time of asking, the 30-year-old would put the set to bed forcing the error for 6-1. 

Gasquet clinches match

With momentum now firmly on his side, Gasquet grabbed double break points. Berlocq then sent a forehand long to which Gasquet broke and consolidated for 2-0 to get off to the perfect start. The third game saw the 34-year-old get his name on the scoreboard in the set dropping two points.

Gasquet held his next service game but would grab a break point chance in the very next game at 30-40 but would be denied almost immediately. However, in the eighth game, Berlocq did show some fight and evened earned himself a break point opportunity at advantage.

Richard Gasuet playing a forehand volley (Photo: Carlos Palma/Getty Images)
Richard Gasquet playing a forehand volley (Photo: Carlos Palma/Getty Images)

A neat dropshot would do the job for the Argentine, who had somehow found his way back into the match. But straight away, Gasquet ran away to a love-40 lead, grabbing triple break points by closing down a dropshot and playing the return into court to which Berlocq couldn't reach.

After having two break points saved, the second seed and former champion eventually broke with an overhead to lead 5-4. Now serving for the match, the Frenchman went up a set point at 30-40. The Argentine would impressively deny Gasquet, who would moments later set up a second match point. He would, this time put away the point to win the set 6-4 and the match.